The United States remains the world’s
largest R&D investor with projected
spending in 2014. This is a globally competitive level of research intensity equal to
of U.S. GDP
Who is spending the big money:
• In 2014, ten countries will spend about 80% of the total $1.6
trillion invested on R&D around the world; the combined
investments by the U.S., China and Japan will account for
more than half of the total.
• Together, the U.S., China, Japan and Europe account for
about 78% of 2014’s $1.6 trillion total.
How major U.S. industries will invest:
• For 2014, we project declines in defense and aerospace R&D,
increases in energy-related research, increases in life science
research and development, strong growth in information
technology research investment and growth in R&D budgets
for chemicals and advanced materials.
Key research investment trends around the globe:
• Given the current, weak economic environment in Europe,
large increases in R&D investments are not expected for the
next several years.
• Emphasis by Southeast Asian countries on economic growth
through increased R&D investments is likely to continue
through the end of the decade.
• Significant R&D investments by western countries in long-range technology platforms like robotics, high-performance
computing, social media, software, cost-effective energy
sources and nanobiotechnology could stimulate rapid
industry-scale economic growth.
The research standouts in the “Rest of the World”:
• The “Rest of the World” countries are expected to undergo
moderate growth in R&D investment in 2014, with leadership from countries like South Korea, Russia and Taiwan.
• Most Middle East countries will experience strong GDP
growth in 2014, but are constrained by weak R&D infrastructure—with exceptions such as Israel and Qatar.
• Africa is expected to see strong GDP growth, but is also limited by under-developed R&D capabilities—with the exception of South Africa.
• Strong GDP growth is expected in South America, but this
region also lags in R&D capacity—even Brazil appears to be
Total investments in R&D (as a percentage of GDP) will stay relatively
steady throughout the world in 2014.
But GDP growth in Asia will continue
to drive higher absolute levels of
gross expenditures on R&D.